Sustainability Strategy - Challenging Climate Change
White Horse Housing has now published its new Sustainability Policy and Strategy. The strategy was reviewed and updated in response to a report from our environmental sustainability consultants, Encredible, which set out a number of recommendations where action could be taken to further reduce our environmental impact. It also clearly sets out the national targets we are expected to meet - and by when - and potential sources of funding available to help us pay for the work required.
The strategy's aim is "To be as environmentally sustainable as practicable, in balance with our corporate commitments of social and economic sustainability".
The strategy commits the Association to becoming a leader on environmental sustainability within the small housing association sector and adopt, where practical and affordable, innovative approaches that seek to continually raise standards and reduce carbon emissions. This will be achieved through:
- provision and management of our homes in a way that manages our energy, waste and water impacts, and supports sustainable procurement and biodiversity,
- continual improvement of our environmental performance,
- prevention of pollution, and
- compliance with our legal and national policy obligations.
To meet these commitments a comprehensive 'action plan' has been agreed to focus our work on those areas that have the most impact. Action taken so far includes:
- Reviewing our housing assets to determine where investment is required to ensure they meet the new national standards;
- Identifying properties with low EPC ratings that will benefit from retro-fitting works;
- Agreeing a new capital programme that allocates funding over the next 6-7 years to help meet the targets set, ensuring that our properties achieve an EPC rating of 'C' and above by 2030;
- Joining the 'West of England' consortium and bidding for Wave 2 Social Housing Decarbonisation Funding to retro-fit 32 of our poorest performing homes;
- Commencing our first 'Passive Haus' certified housing development at Seend; and,
- Expanding our digital offering to allow tenants access to services at any time of day.
The Association recognises that, despite all the good work we have done over the years, and the high quality of the housing we currently own, further improvements can and must be made to meet the challenges of climate change and help make a difference to the environment and to reduce fuel costs for our tenants.
To monitor progress against the strategy and our agreed Key Performance Indicators, a new Sustainability Committee has been created who meet throughout the year and report directly to the Board. A copy of the new Strategy can be found here.
"We aim, as far as practicable, to ensure that all actions and business operations undertaken by WHHA, both directly, and on our behalf, reflect our commitment to sustainability".